On the Usefulness of Imprecise Bayesianism in Chemical Kinetics


Marc Fischer ;
Proceedings of the Eleventh International Symposium on Imprecise Probabilities: Theories and Applications, PMLR 103:203-215, 2019.


Bayesian methods are growing ever more popular in chemical kinetics. The reasons for this and general challenges related to kinetic parameter estimation are shortly reviewed. Most authors content themselves with using one single (mostly uniform) prior distribution. The goal of this paper is to go into some serious issues this raises. The problems of confusing knowledge and ignorance and of reparametrisation are examined. The legitimacy of a probabilistic Ockham’s razor is called into question. A synthetic example involving two reaction models was used to illustrate how merging the parameter space volume with the model accuracy into a single number might be unwise. Robust Bayesian analysis appears to be a simple and straightforward way to avoid the problems mentioned throughout this article.

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